This is because the new variant quickly bypasses the immunity that a person has developed through a natural infection with an earlier variant or even if the complete course of the vaccines are taken, he added.
"Omicron and its sub-lineages continue to be the dominant variant in India. BA.2 and its descendent lineages, in particular, BA.2.75 has been mostly found over the last week in different parts of India," the INSACOG said
Swaminathan said they are also tracking derivatives of BA.5 and BA.1, which are also more transmissible and immune-evasive.
The Spokesperson told Xinhua that BA.4 and BA.5 continued to be the most dominant sub-variants in South Africa but they were less severe due to higher levels of immunity. The department called on the people not to panic.
The findings, published in JAMA Network Open, showed that only 44 per cent of participants with newly positive SARS-CoV-2 antibodies had awareness of being infected with the virus. The majority (56 per cent) were unaware of any recent Covid-19 infection.
According to a new study, the latest Omicron sub-variants -- including the BA.4 and BA.5 which are causing new global surges in infections -- are even better at eluding vaccines and most antibody treatments than previous variants. Sub-variants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are rapidly expanding worldwide, with BA.4/5 now making up more than 50 per cent of new Covid cases in the US.
On COVID-19, globally reported cases have increased nearly 30 per cent over the past two weeks. Four out of six of the WHO sub-regions saw cases increase in the last week, Ghebreyesus said at a press briefing Wednesday.
Subvariants BA.2.12.1, BA.4, and BA.5 are rapidly expanding worldwide, with BA.4/5 now making up more than 50 per cent of new Covid cases in the US.
According to the the ICMR study, administering of Covaxin booster dose will enhance the vaccine effectiveness against the Delta variant infection and give protection against the Omicron variants BA.1.1 and BA.2.
BA.4 made up 5.4 per cent of the new cases, while BA.5 made up 7.6 per cent, according to CDC estimates.
The genome sequencing body further said that the contact tracing of the BA.4 and BA.5 patients is being undertaken as a precautionary measure.
The outbreak forced leader Kim Jong Un to wear a mask in public likely for the first time since the start of the pandemic, but the scale of transmissions inside North Korea wasn't immediately known. A failure to slow infections could have serious consequences because the country has a poor health care system and its 26 million people are believed to be mostly unvaccinated. Some experts say the North, by its rare admission of an outbreak, may be seeking outside aid.
New Zealand is currently under the orange settings of the Covid-19 Protection Framework, where there is no limit for gatherings.
While existing vaccination can still reduce the risk of severe Covid disease, the variants can evade many of the neutralising antibodies that are the immune system's front line of defence.
NSW Health reported that the state's first case of BA.4 was a traveller who returned from South Africa, reports Xinhua news agency.
The team explained that SARS-CoV-2 can cause severe paediatric disease, including acute Covid-19 and multisystem inflammatory syndrome. Published reports associating SARS-CoV-2 with upper airway infection, such as laryngotracheobronchitis (croup), have been limited to small case series.
A massive crowd was seen at a three-day flea market festival at the JLN Stadium here that ended on Sunday. Very few people were seen wearing mask at the venue. The visuals from the festival have been widely shared on social media.
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Covaxin will now cost Rs 225 per dose at private hospitals, from Rs 1,200 earlier.
It forms clusters as it successfully spreads to people, and this gets noticed during genome sequencing. Only these successful sublineages make news which are given names like XD, XE etc.
Globally, BA.2 made up about 86 per cent of cases reported as updated on the open access database GISAID between February 16 and March 17, the agency said in a report this week.
The country also announced it will not lift more Covid restrictions amid rising infections "in several locations around the world", the Prime Minister's Office said in a statement.
Meanwhile, although BA.2 sequences are increasing in proportion relative to other Omicron sublineages, there is still a reported decline in overall cases globally.
Several countries have seen a decline in Omicron variant-led Covid surge. The decrease in cases has also led to lifting restrictions. Sweden, Denmark, and Norway have all lifted Covid restrictions as they look to reclassify the virus as a disease that does not pose a threat to society. The UK and the US are soon likely to follow.
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Deltacron as first reported from Cyprus last month, but was later dismissed and put down to sample contamination.
The researchers noted that vaccination, including a booster dose for those who are fully vaccinated, remains critical for mitigating the risk of severe illness associated with SARS-CoV-2 infection.
The Ministry of Health continues to provide technical guidance for managing various aspects of COVID-19 including containment and surveillance, testing, clinical management protocols, post-COVID sequale, etc., the minister said.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik advised the rapid response teams (RRTs) and field staff to keep a track on the health condition of those patients who are in home quarantine.
About the prevalence of the Omicron variant of coronavirus in India, he said, 1,292 cases of the latest variant of concern were found on genome sequencing in December which rose to 9,672 in January.
However, the study has a limitation of lesser participants in the unvaccinated group and the shorter window period post infection. "This could be the important reason for the low immune response specifically in the unvaccinated individuals against Omicron," it said.
The Special Relief Commissioner of Odisha, PK Jena on Wednesday expressed optimism that the ongoing third wave of COVID pandemic in the State may soon wrap itself up but only if people abide by the appropriate virus infection prevention guidelines religiously at all places.
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The cell culture study also showed that Omicron viruses remain sensitive to eight of the most important antiviral drugs and drug candidates for the treatment of Covid-19.
Earlier on January 10, Mandaviya had held a meeting with the health ministers and senior officials of Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Goa, Dadra & Nagra Haveli and Daman & Diu.
"We will need to learn to manage it through a sustained and integrated system for acute respiratory diseases, which will provide a platform for preparedness for future pandemics."
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Harvard researchers also found that five days after an initial positive test for Omicron, about half of tested individuals had viral loads high enough that they were probably still infectious.